How to Find My iPhone on iCloud

iCloud lets you locate lost iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches and Mac computers from the Web.
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iCloud's Find My iPhone service can come in very useful if you lose your handset, but before you can take advantage of it you need to activate the service on your iPhone. You'll need an iCloud account associated with your Apple ID and an iPhone running iOS 5.0 or later. You can also set up Find My iPhone in a similar way to locate Mac computers, iPads and iPod Touch devices. For the detection feature to work, your iPhone must be switched on and connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network.

Launch the Settings app from your iPhone home screen and tap "iCloud." Tap the switch next to "Find My iPhone" to turn it to the ON position. If you don't already have an iCloud account set up, you have the option to create one.

Log in to the iCloud website using your Apple ID and password and select "Find My iPhone" from the list of apps. The Web application tries to automatically locate all of the devices you've registered with iCloud.

Tap the "Devices" button and select your iPhone from the list to see its location on the map. If the device is online, it appears as a green dot. If the device is offline (disconnected from the network or switched off) then its last known location appears as a gray dot for 24 hours.

  • The steps above have been tested with iOS 6.1.3, the latest version of the software as of the start of September 2013. If you are using a different version of iOS the procedure may vary. Note that the "Lost Mode" feature requires iOS 6.0 or above.
  • On the information window that appears when you select your iPhone from the devices list there are three options: "Play Sound" (to get the device to play a short audio sound), "Lost Mode" (which locks your device, tracks it in real-time and enables whoever finds it to make one call) and "Erase iPhone" (which erases all the data on the device). You can also view the level of battery life remaining in your iPhone and see when it last reported its location.

An information technology journalist since 2002, David Nield writes about the Web, technology, hardware and software. He is an experienced editor, proofreader and copywriter for online publications such as CNET, TechRadar and Gizmodo. Nield holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and lives in Manchester, England.